Dennis Schatz

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Dennis Schatz is Senior Vice President for Strategic Programs at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. A research solar astronomer prior to his career in science education, he worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, prior to moving to Seattle in 1977. At Pacific Science Center he has held a broad range of positions from Director of the Planetarium in his early years to VP for Exhibits and VP for Education in more recent years.

Dennis is active in the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), being a past member of its Program Committee, Professional Development Committee and past chair of its Education Committee. Schatz is past chair of ASTC's Leading Edge Awards Selection Committee. He is also active in the National Science Teachers Association, having been Program or General Chair for three of NSTA's Conventions.

He is the author of 21 science books for children that have sold almost 2 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 23 languages. His Uncover A T.rex book was a 2003 Parents Choice Award Winner, and his Fossil Detective Woolly Mammoth received a 2006 iParenting Media award. He is also co-author/editor of several curriculum resources for teachers, including Astro-Adventures, Universe At Your Fingertips and More Universe At Your Fingertips.


Pacific Science Center

Schatz provides leadership to several of Pacific Science Center's major initiatives, including Washington State LASER and Portal to the Public. He co-directs Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform), a program to implement a quality K-12 science program in all 295 school districts in Washington State.

The Portal to the Public effort is a new initiative to develop programs - both onsite and off - that engage the public in understanding the current science research being conducted in our community. The first major Portal to the Public program is an NSF grant to develop and research effective models to engage the public in understanding current science research via face-to-face interactions with scientists.

Over his years at Pacific Science Center he served as Principal Investigator for a number of National Science Foundation (NSF) projects, including the Science Center's innovative Community Leadership project that develops science advocates in community-based organizations, and the nationally touring exhibit, Aliens: Worlds of Possibilities, which explores the nature of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life in the galaxy.


Dennis Schatz has dedicated many years to identifying effective ways to teach astronomy concepts, especially through his involvement with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), the largest international society dedicated to astronomy education in and out of school. In addition, He is a past board member and a past president of the ASP.

Awards and Recognition

Shatz has received numerous honors, including the 1996 Distinguished Informal Science Educator Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). He received NSTA's 2005 lifetime achievement award (Distinguished Service to Science Education).

In 2006 ASTC made him an ASTC Fellow for his lifetime achievement in service to the field and furthering the public's understanding of science. He is only one of 24 ASTC Fellows awarded in the history of ASTC and the first non-CEO or public official to receive the award.

In March, 2009 he received the Faraday Science Communicator Award, presented annually by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). This award recognizes and honors an individual or organization that has inspired the public's interest in and appreciation of science.

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